A more detailed cultural analysis and critique of fin de siècle Anglicanism will enable the Church of England to reflect more realistically on its present troubles. It is clear that its present response to society needs to be liberated from internal frictions and disputes resulting from the ecclesiastical politics of Church ‘parties’ struggling for power over the institution. This legacy of the nineteenth century must now be discarded if the Christian message is once more to become effective. The pursuit of partisan conflict in the present day is a serious impediment to the formation of a coherent Christian encounter with the world and encourages those who participate in it to mistake victory in ecclesiastical odium theologicum for missionary relevance. The opportunities for constructive engagement are great, as in the last few decades in the West we have seen Thomas Huxley’s age of active secular confidence slowly disintegrate under the pressures of cultural and religious ideas which were not foreseen by the hopeful progressive thought of post-1945 Britain. Both global and local conflicts now possess religious questions as a significant factor in a manner thought to be inconceivable in the years of heady secular progressivism following the Second World War. An increasing number of voices have spoken up against what has been interpreted as the oppressive economic and cultural power of the secular West.


Religious Idea Present Response Local Conflict Constructive Engagement Anglican Idealism 
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© Timothy Maxwell Gouldstone 2005

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  • Timothy Maxwell Gouldstone

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